Maine Historical Society seeking applications for Maine Community Heritage Project

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AUGUSTA – The Maine Historical Society (MHS), in partnership with the Maine State Library (MSL), is seeking Maine communities to participate in the 2009-10 program cycle of the Maine Community Heritage Project (MCHP), an intensive one-year program (July 2009-June 2010) that will mobilize Maine communities around the exploration, gathering, and sharing of their local history. This program is supported by a National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum & Library Services.

Participating communities will work closely with MHS staff to build content-rich websites within the Maine Memory Network (www.mainememory.net) dedicated to the history of their communities. In the process of creating their Web site, each team will: inventory local historical resources; digitize 100-200 historic items from local collections and upload them to the Maine Memory Network; write an illustrated online narrative about the history of the community (approximately 3,000 words); create approximately five online exhibits that explore specific topics in local history; and come together for a community-wide celebration of their work and community’s history.

The Maine Historical Society seeks applications from local partnership teams-each of which must include a local school (grades 6-12), library, and historical organization. Eight communities will be selected to participate in the year-long program which will run from July 2009-June 2010.

Participating communities will receive extensive training in digitization, access to powerful yet user-friendly online tools, guidance and support from full-time project staff, and funds of up to $7,500 to support project activities. All Maine communities are eligible to apply. The application deadline is: April 9.

Full project details and applications are available at: www.mainememory.net/mchp. For additional information, please contact Kristie Littlefield, School Partnership Coordinator, at klittlefield@mainehistory.org or (207) 653-9287. Interested communities are also invited to attend information sessions at the following times/locations: Monday, February 23, 3pm: Bangor Public Library; Monday, March 2, 3pm: Parson’s Memorial Library, Alfred; Tuesday, March 3, 3pm: Lewiston Public Library. Please call or email to RSVP.

This is the second year that the Maine Community Heritage Project is being offered. Eight communities-Presque Isle, New Portland, Thomaston, Islesboro, Bath, Lubec, Farmington, and Hampden-are currently participating in the MCHP and building websites on the Maine Memory Network which will be launched in June.

The MCHP grows out of the Maine Memory Network (www.mainememory.net), the Maine Historical Society’s nationally recognized statewide digital museum that features a constantly growing online collection of over 14,000 historical items contributed by more than 180 historical organizations around Maine; nearly 100 online exhibits that explore a diverse range of themes and topics in Maine history; lesson plans; a gallery of student history projects; online tools that allow site visitors to create and share their own exhibits; and more.

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